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“Brilliant!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hutsadin Elephant Foundation

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
176 Moo 7 Nongplub Rd | Prachaupkhirikhun, Hua Hin 77110, Thailand
032 827-098 100
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Ranked #1 of 22 Attractions in Hua Hin
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hutsadin Elephant Foundation offers the visitor a variety of attractions. At present we have 3 elephants available for trekking. Each trek can be half an hour or an hour and you will be taken through the surrounding areas. After your trek you will be able to watch a small show by our youngest elephant, or if you would prefer you are welcome to wash her instead and there will be plenty of opportunities for some amazing photos. After this you may want to visit our retired elephants. If you prefer a more hands approach, you may want to try our 'mahout experience' where you will get a talk about the foundation and its ethos plus the individual stories of all our elephants and why they were rescued, you will also help to take care of our retired elephants for the morning(9.00a.m - 12.00), in this time you will get to prepare food, give medication, clean their shelters, take one for a walk and then give her a wash. Will receive a t shirt to remember your time with us and you are welcome to have a free vegetarian lunch and ice cream to finish your morning. (please e mail for details as only available on certain days and only small groups are taken). If you can't spare three hours but still want something 'hands on' you can take one of elephants for a walk and then wash then on return - approximately 1/2 hour. If you just want to have a look around the foundation and chat to some of the English speaking volunteers you are more than welcome and there is no charge, however they are only there on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning. All of our elephants have been rescued and all have their own story, there is an information board near the seating area where you can learn more about each individual elephant.A final word to clarify the situation :- you may be asked for a tip or to buy trinkets from the mahouts - this is entirely up to you and is not supported by the foundation. Any money that you give to the mahouts DOES NOT go into the foundation funds and is not used to buy food etc (no matter what you may be told). Should you wish to make a donation please put it into the box in the front office or give to one of the volunteers.We hope that you enjoy your visit and find it a memorable experience.Please post your comments on tripadvisor for the benefit of others.
Essex uk
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Brilliant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We visited today with our two children (8 and 11). They loved washing and feeding the elephants. The English volunteer who showed us around really cared about the elephants and we felt it was a responsible and ethical way to interact with the elephants. Wish we had money spare to donate more to them. Well worth the visit!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
We are pleased that you and your family enjoyed the interaction with our elephants - it just proves that you don't have to go on a trek to enjoy their company.
SongKran loves getting a wash and the volunteers love to show people around and answer questions:)
Please visit again one day.
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Nice to meet the elephants but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Disclamer - We are not serious conservationists or environmentalist so we really didn't know what to expect when visiting this 'foundation'. We were told that there are 2 places at which you can encounter elephants in Hua Hin, the 'Elephant Village' and this 'Foundation'. We were also told (and saw by TA) that this foundation was the more humane.

However on arrival (it was a Monday) we were explained about the various 'pricing packages' that were available. Certainly as the one of the staff/owners replies in the comments below there should have been the option of just learning more about the elephants without being 'persuaded' to join up for the activities. Eventually we decided on the elephant trek and the baby elephant visit for THB 600 adult / THB 400 child.

We walked in to the end of the previous baby elephant 'show' which immediately did look a bit cruel and not natural. The baby elephant was made to 'dance' while some cheesy pop/disco music played and then played the harmonica with its trunk as well as various other 'party tricks'. Last time I checked I don't think any of these 'activities' was part of a normal and natural day for an elephant...

The elephant 'trek' was 30 minutes on the back of the elephants. While our 2 and 4 year old kids did enjoy the experience I do believe the adults had an uneasy feeling with the way the trainers shouted and pushed at the elephants to get them to do the right movements. Maybe we are too sensitive but it just seemed a bit rough. Also the trainers had some pretty sharp looking axe like tools to 'persuade' the elephants. Half way through the trek the trainers stopped us, pulled out some small white shapes on a necklace and asked whether we wanted to buy some real 'elephant teeth'. I'm pretty sure that sort of activity is not generally acceptable?

Anyway, our kids enjoyed the experience but it is not something we would be explaining to them as really the way these animals should be kept as in their natural environments.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. It seems that you didn't have any firm idea of what exactly you wanted to get out of your visit. As many of the reviews have pointed out, you really don't have to take a ride, you and your family could have looked around and met the elephants for free. Neither do you have to see Song Kran giving a show - you could have washed her instead. Many people have done this and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My advise to anyone wanting to visit the foundation would be to look at the website and decide what you want to do then relay that to the staff at the foundation. Anyone having questions can e mail and I will get back to them as soon as possible.
As for the issue of Song Kran and her 'tricks' - she loves to do it, has only been taught with positive reinforcement and will do them of her own accord when people aren't around! Whilst I agree they are not natural they are certainly no more cruel than training a dog to give a paw:)
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Shanghai, China
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11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nice to know people care.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

We visited yesterday with our 2 year old Daughter. We did not want to ride the elephants therefore there was no cost for entrance. We were greeted by Will (a retired Brit) who is a volunteer at the foundation. He kindly escorted us around and told us about the work the foundation does and lots of interesting elephant facts. We all had a great time and highly recommend a chat with him.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write your review and also to point out that there is no need to have a trek in order to meet our elephants. Unfortunately we only have English speaking volunteers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings but they are always willing to show people around and spend as much time as you want with them.
Glad you enjoyed your visit :)
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Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“What a lovely place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

This elephant foundation was one of the best I've seen. The baby elephant looked so happy to be there (no chains attached to her legs or anything) she just wondered around everywhere - so cute! We even got a cuddle with her. The lady then showed us the retired elephants, which was really nice. She explained how they had been rescued and how the foundation helped them. The admission fee went towards the elephants medication etc, For people who are interested the admission fee was only 600 baht. This then followed by a elephant ride on the younger healthy elephants around the surrounded greenery. We got some fab photos. Definitely an experience I won't forget!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write your lovely review - you clearly enjoyed your time with SongKran:)
Just to clarify things - no one has to have a trek, you can just come in and spend some time with the elephants with no admission fee.
Hope to see you again one day
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Rheinland Pfalz
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14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Small Elephant Aid Camp - Quite Commercial”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

Today we made a morning tour to the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation. It was our TukTuk driver only, who knew how to find the place just westerly outside Hua Hin downtown. Other local people and even our receptionist had no clue where it was.
We had decided for this foundation instead of the fully commercialised other offers around Hua Hin, because we believe in the humanitarian idea of helping the creatures and are willing supporters of such ideals.
However, the first thing we realized, was an S Class 500 Mercedes of the management parked in the private driveway.
The elephant ride was a great experience, yes, and washing the baby elephant was funny also. But we really wonder whether funds raised are used for the idealistic goal of helping retired or ill elephants only. There are just a handful of elephants in this camp and the organisation of the tour is highly Professional touristic.
Again, we like the idea, but have some doubts remaining.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review, and overall you seem to have enjoyed your time with us. However, I don't feel that I should justify what car the owner drives, he is a business man with interests outside of the foundation. Suffice to say that when funds coming in don't match the outgoings he does make up the balance from his own pocket!
The cost of looking after 6 elephants is huge and of course we have to make money from the trekking to cover the care of those who don't work.
Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world but we are doing the best we can and I can only assure you that all funds do go directly to the care of the elephants.
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